I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Ballantine Books on February 24th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, New Adult, Romance
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Ellie Cahill is poised to coin the term “sorbet sex” with her charming twist on the age-old ‘friends-with-benefits’ story.
Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again … until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love.
This book was an instant add for me! I just love any romance that is built off of a strong friendship, and this type of ‘friends-with-benefits’ was something I was craving in a read. Great relationships with a touch of angst is something I enjoy in New Adult and When Joss Met Matt was a great addition!
The story starts off in the present, as we meet Joss who is full of nerves, waiting to meet her friend Matt and finally tell him how she feels about him. With the next chapter we are transported back in time seven years ago, when Joss and Matt first met and how their friendship evolved into the ‘sorbet sex’ we know develops from what we learned in the synopsis. I must say for a good section of the book we really focus on the past, which is to be expected from the title. Though we get chapters from the present, they are short and most of that story is reserved for further into the novel. We really see a great friendship develop. And I mean, FRIENDSHIP. Even though there might have been the thought in the very beginning of a romance, it is quickly put off and we see two people who like to hang out and support each other just by being friends. I was pretty tickled pink about this in the beginning because so often in these type of stories the characters already have the romantic feelings for each other and we learn this right away. Don’t get me wrong, I like that, but sometimes it leaves me sighing with disappointment because I want to see how their feelings evolve. I want to be with them when it does. I want to experience it through their eyes. So major win for this book! But at the same time, it seemed to take forever! haha I am such a contradiction, I know this. This is probably just a ‘me’ issue. But man, I wanted that sexual tension between the two of them to grow and grow. I wanted to feel the attraction. But since it took so long, for me, I mostly just felt the friendship with every hookup. I wasn’t feeling as much swooning as I longed for. Perhaps this coincides with the sex and how for a New Adult it is more watered down than I’ve usually seen. Don’t get me wrong, there’s sex, but it isn’t very detailed. It surprised me a little because I just don’t think I’ve read a New Adult fade away quite as much as I saw here. I don’t need an abundance of detailed sex in a romance because it can get monotonous and leave me skimming so it didn’t bother me too much and I think many readers will appreciate this. But maybe a few extra details would have made a difference for me in feeling the romantic connection in this particular case? I can’t be sure.
The back and forth in time chapters worked really well for the plot. I longed for the ‘now’ because I was anxious to see these two be together but at the same time I loved exploring how it all came to pass over the previous years. Of course this means we have to get through quite a few bad relationships both Matt and Joss go through. These past relationships were painfully and sometimes hilariously awful. There were instances were we had to see their significant others make mistakes and, well, a time or two Joss and Matt were the ones that were making me cringe with their decisions. It felt very realistic. People make mistakes, characters make mistakes. And I loved them for it.
I know I had a lot of contradicting thoughts on this book but in the end I found a wonderfully fun and enjoyable read. It could be that I just had extremely high expectations that may have been impossible to meet but I would absolutely recommend this book to both New Adult and Young Adult fans looking for a strong friendship and a little romance!